Alex Homer is a technical writer assigned to the Microsoft patterns & practices division in Redmond. Following a career within and outside of the IT world, including an eclectic range of jobs from tractor driver to double-glazing salesman, he spent many years as a software and training specialist before tiring of the conference circuit and joining Microsoft. However, he has so far resisted the dubious attractions of Seattle weather in favor of working from home in the idyllic rural surroundings of the Derbyshire Dales in the heart of England. Now he spends his days knee-deep in design patterns and architectural literature; writing books, documentation, sample code, and producing technical guidance in its myriad other forms-most of which is helpfully co-authored by two over-inquisitive cats. His weekly semi-coherent ramblings on the IT industry, and life in general, can be found at http://blogs.msdn.com/alexhomer/.